Ahhhhh. Chinatown, Houston. A place I love to go for good food and relaxation. It’s where I spoil myself, and the best part is that it doesn’t hit the ol’ wallet too hard. I typically begin visiting one of the many asian restaurants. A few of my favorites are Banana Leaf, HK Dim Sum, Tofu Village, and Cafe Kubo’s. Though my last experience at Kubo’s was less than desirable. But get this! My favorite part about China Town is not the food. I’ll get into this part in just a bit, read on.
On with the food part, because this is a food blog. Banana Leaf is a Malaysian restaurant that never disappoints with their Indian influenced menu. And you can order a refreshing young coconut drink in the actual coconut – then you get to scrape the sides for the coconut meat. HK Dim Sum is where you can just go bonkers ordering small plates of all your favorite… everything – dumplings, asian buns, etc. Be sure to check out their menu. Tofu Village offers a traditional Korean menu – and if you are familiar with how Korean restaurants work, you don’t go home hungry. Cafe Kubo’s, I’m a little torn after my last visit. The first time I went there it was exceptional, granted the food was served by the owner. Last time I went their, it took 35 minutes to even get our sushi order and the ramen came out… well, disappointing. The egg was over cooked as well as the noodles. Though the sushi was good, and the cuts where generous, I got the feeling that the hired hands in the back didn’t take the ramen as serious as I do. See my first post on Cafe Kubo’s. And their website was not working at the time of posting. I wanted to visit Tiger’s Den, Houston’s new ramen restaurant, but they don’t serve until dinner… And there are so more restaurants to try, I just need to keep going back and not find myself repeating restaurants like I always do.
OK, now for my favorite part of China Town. Drum roll please… The foot reflexology. My gosh, these places will be the best $20 bucks you’ll ever spend. Now hear me out, I have been to a spa day at the Houstonian, but I tell ya, you will not get a better massage anywhere than these places. Of course you don’t get all the luxury that the Houstonian or other spa’s may offer, but you will get a better massage. I like to frequent JL Foot Spa. The staff is always exceedingly friendly and they always do a great job. You can get a foot massage for $20 that last 60 minutes. While your feet soak in their hot… feet soaking juice, they spend time massaging your head, shoulders, arm, hands with various pressure point techniques. It’s magical. I like to splurge and do the full body massage where it’s just $45 for 60 minutes or $65 for 90 minutes. Go with the 90 if you can. You’ walk out feeling like a gazillion bucks.
Once the massage is done, I then visit Frozen Cafe. Whether you’re in the mood for some of their awesome frozen yogurt flavors or their incredible gelato’s, this place is a hidden gem for desserts.
Next on to Fit. A Japanese dollar store if you will. Having visited Japan, I love this store. When you walk in, the staff yells, “Irasshaimase!” – which sounds more like “ah-som-a-say” and means “welcome” basically. Very traditional in all Japanese stores and restaurants. As you load up on chop sticks and other house hold items, be sure to have fun in their Japanese photo booth – it’s awesome and incredibly fun.
And lastly, visiting the asian grocery store. Whether is AA Supermarket or Viet Hoa, you’ll feel like you traveled to another country. Load up on ramune, a Japanese soda (where the bottle is half the experience) and lots of asian ramen and soup bowls for those work lunches.
Such an incredible time. If you live in Houston, don’t miss out on this, seriously. It’s a great experience, awesome food, wonderful massages – and when you are experiencing travel lust, this helps ease the pain.
Stay hungry, Houston, and experience a different culture in your own backyard. And you can find really cheap phone cases. Let me know if you have a favorite spot in Houston’s Chinatown.
Wait, wait, Adam, where is Chinatown in Houston? Here the Google Map of Chinatown.